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BOXBORO HAMFEST IS HISTORY, NEW VENUE IN MARLBORO, MA IN JULY

THURSDAY EDITION: The new hamfest in Marlboro, MA replacing the Boxboro Event will be at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough on July 24 25 26, note the change of dates as well as location. More news to follow as it come in......K1JEK and the gang are meeting for lunch today at HRO in Salem today, stop by and say hello....I forgot to mention that the rifle silencer ad I posted yesterday was invented by a famous ham, Hiram Percy....

 Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

TONY'S TEN METER REPORT; Another poor week, not even the weekend could raise things. Mid-week, which is traditionally bad was actually very bad with only 3stations spotted in total on Wednesday and Thursday.

Best of the week OG1D (Finland), VK9NK (Norfolk Is). That’s about it really.

Most popular DX (three or more contacts, any mode)

Monday DX: CE7VPQ, VP8LP, TI2/KC2MXH, ZS6NL, PY9NT, PY7PQ, PY2NF, OH8GBO, OH6FTR, OH1TP, KB3NXT, 3B8CW.
Spotters: WA3GWK, F4CXO, VE3PV, LU1HVK, PU5LHF, OE3FVU, F4DJK, PU2RDB, JH6ETS, W1LIC, SP5NOF, PY5AMF, LW9DYQ, PY2UDB, PU2RJO .

Tuesday DX: OG1D, ARCKR7PKS, ZS6WAB/B, OY1CT, DO2AK, DL0IGI/B, DK0TEN/B, 3B8CW, I2SVA, GI4SNA, DL3GD, DJ4TW.
Spotters: F1BBI, OH2LOA, G0OPI, G0JEI, G1EZF, PY3EW, HS0ZET, GM8LFB, G4CJC, F4CXO, F4AZF, DL4MFF, DL3GD, UA3221SW, UA3221S, PY1LV, IW8PQ, F1YJ, DK7LX .

Wednesday DX: OH3DF, PU5LHF.
Spotters: PY3EW, F4CXO, PU5LHF, OH4SS .

Thursday DX: VK9NK
Spotters: PU2ODR

Friday DX: ZW6C, VK9NK.
Spotters: ZL2IFB, PU2ODR .

Saturday DX: PY3EW, IK2GVS, HG8W.
Spotters: WA3GWK, WX3B, WB8VLC, PY3EW, W4EE, PU2RDB, N3QE, IK2GVS .

Sunday DX: KG2RA, HI8RD, PY3EW, FM5DN, CE7VPQ, R7AW, PY6GOE, PP5HA, LU1DX, KG2DT, CE5VKK.
Spotters: PY3EW, PP5HA, VE3FGU, PY2SBY, PY2ADX, PY1LV, KN4VHD, PU5LHF, CD7CKU, RU7A, PU8MGB, LZ2BE .

Contests: Information from WA7BMN

Very little in the way of competitions this week.

+ Malaysia DX Contest 0000Z-2359Z, Jan 25
+ REF Contest, CW 0600Z, Jan 25 to 1800Z, Jan 26
+ BARTG RTTY Sprint 1200Z, Jan 25 to 1200Z, Jan 26
+ UBA DX Contest, SSB 1300Z, Jan 25 to 1300Z, Jan 26
+ Winter Field Day 1900Z, Jan 25 to 1900Z, Jan 26
+ QCX Challenge 1300Z-1400Z, Jan 27 and
  1900Z-2000Z, Jan 27 and
  0300Z-0400Z, Jan 28
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Jan 29 and
  1900Z-2000Z, Jan 29 and
  0300Z-0400Z, Jan 30

 

 

FRIGID WEDNESDAY EDITION: Not much to report today, I have been busy doing things other than ham radio.....but stay tuned....Having solved all the problems in MA, legislators are trying to ban nip bottles to say the environment, you have to be shitting me!...

Ham Radio HF - The Small Garden Problem

Peter Waters G3OJV has produced a series of videos taking a look at the small garden problems relating to HF operation.

Watch Ham Radio HF - The Small Garden Problem

Who Was Samuel Morse?

Parts of Samuel Morse's backstory read like a tragic Hollywood screenplay. He was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts on April 27, 1791. A professional painter, Morse found himself working on a portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825. The job had taken him to Washington, D.C. where he received a devastating letter. According to the dispatch, his young wife had died back at their home in New Haven, Connecticut.

Worse, by the time Morse got this message, it was too late for him to return in time for her funeral. She was laid to rest without him.

Such was the pace of most long-distance communications in those days. Morse was one of the entrepreneurs leading the way.

He was one of the developers of the first telegraphs built in the 1830s. To call any lone scientist or inventor the "father" of this technical breakthrough would be misleading. Morse was just one of the visionaries behind the telegraph's early development.

Despite his limited scientific background, Morse had a real passion for electricity. In 1837, he showcased a prototypical telegraph that he'd built at a public demonstration. Like all telegraphs, his sent out pulses of electric current via wire. The pulses would make their way into a receiver — and this is where Samuel Morse's famous code came into play.

The First Morse Code Transmission

Morse's telegraph couldn't transmit voices or written characters. Yet by capitalizing on those electric pulses, he devised a new way to send coded messages.

Documents show that the original Morse code was Morse's brainchild — despite rumors to the contrary. That said, he had a brilliant partner by the name of Alfred Vail, who helped him refine and expand the system. Under the code, every letter in the English language — along with most punctuation marks and each number from zero through nine — was given a unique, corresponding set of short and long pulses.

"Long" pulses came to be known as "dashes" while the short ones were called "dots." In this iteration of the code, not all dashes were created equal; some lasted longer than others. And the spaces between pulses varied widely (depending on the context).

Soon enough, Morse got to show off his electric cipher. In 1843, Congress handed him a $30,000 grant to build an experimental long-distance telegraph between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland.

The moment of truth came on May 24, 1844. Sitting in the U.S. Capitol's Supreme Court chamber, Morse sent a coded message along to Vail, who was waiting in Baltimore at the other end of the line.

Morse knew just what to say. At the suggestion of a friend's daughter, he transmitted a quote from the biblical book of Numbers: "What hath God wrought."   ARTICLE

FRIGID TUESDAY EDITION: Damn cold here...I am running a little late today with the news...check later in the day...If you are bored enough to listen in on 3919 at night, I can guarantee you will hear one person 80 percent of the time talking over everybody...on the other hand, listen in to 3843 or 3927 and hear a variety of hams talking about a variety of topics and......no checking in, no silly member numbers, no bullshit, no agenda, nobody telling you to ID....

ARRL Events App is Available for Apple iOS and Android Devic

The ARRL Events app is available to use with Apple iOS and Android devices. A web-browser version, optimized for most browsers and other types of mobile devices, is also available. ARRL Events will be featured at Orlando HamCation 2020, February 7 – 9, which has been sanctioned as the 2020 ARRL Northern Florida Section Convention.

ITU Development Sector Publication Highlights Amateur Radio’s Role in Emergency Communication

Amateur radio is featured in the publication, ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plans, published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Development Sector (ITU-D). The publication notes that radio amateurs have supported communication in emergency situations on a voluntary basis since the dawn of radio.

“They are experts in radio communications and have the equipment, skills and necessary frequencies allocated by ITU to deploy networks in emergency events quickly and efficiently,” the publication says. ITU-D said amateur radio support offers “great coverage due to the large number of amateur radio stations available;” training programs and exercises have been developed for emergency communication; “qualified temporary volunteers who provide skills and experience essential for emergency telecommunications;” problem-solving skills and an ability to work with “often very limited resources,” and the ability to work with alternative power sources.

Past ARRL President and IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, represents the International Amateur Radio Union at ITU-D meetings. — Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio News; IARU

2020 IOTA Bash

Bob, WB2YQH, reports: The details for the 2020 IOTA Bash are now on the IREF (Island Radio Expedition Foundation) web site.

Looks to be an exciting program. It's always an enjoyable weekend in Texas hill country.

Check it out at: https://irefradio.com/iota-bash

MONDAY EDITION: Joe-K1JEK has organized lunch for the bunch this Thursday in Salem, NH at HRO, almost all are welcome....

My buddies hot rod he has been building for over a year in his shop....it is perfect in every way! Engine is a blown Chevy 327 with a mild cam. Car is being painted the same color as the frame later this week. Baron has been building hot rods since 1969 and his shop is in Gloucester, MA

A good indicator of a class mechanic is how he keeps his shop...meticulous...His daily driver
is a blown 57 Corvette and a blown 55 Chevy two door...

CEO SHIT CANNED!  Barry Shelley, N1VXY, to Become ARRL Interim CEO....

At its meeting this weekend, the ARRL Board of Directors did not elect Howard Michel, WB2ITX, as the ARRL Chief Executive Officer. Beginning Monday, January 20, Barry Shelley, N1VXY, will become interim CEO. Mr. Shelley was ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer for 28 years and CEO during 2018 before his retirement. The board has created a search committee to select the next CEO. More details on this and other matters which took place at the board meeting will be released shortly.

AmateurLogic 139: Now With 2020 Vision

Just how much faster is the Raspberry Pi 4? Tommy finds out. George has a free remote desktop solution with some unique features. Emile tries Vara Winlink. And Mike ventures into the “Box of Incomplete Dreams” for a QRP Labs WSPR kit.  VIDEO

Bowater Credit Union donates to ham radio club

The Bowater Credit Union has donated $1,000 to the McMinn County Amateur Radio Club (MCARC)

The Cleveland Banner reports:

Bowater Credit Union members Joyce Johnson and Bill Luecken W4WPL have each won a $1,000 Pay It Forward prize for their favorite nonprofits doing good in the five counties eligible for credit union membership, Isaiah 117 House and McMinn County Amateur Radio Club (MCARC), respectively.

The McMinn County Amateur Radio Club “in addition to serving as a venue for promoting amateur radio has a core value of community service and providing emergency communication,” writes Luecken.  “As a testament to the critical need provided for by these services is the fact that after the Nov. 30, 2016, tornado in Athens the MCARC emergency radio repeater network was the only communication system capable of county wide communication.”

MCARC welcomes financial support, but is especially seeking new members interested in learning more about HAM radio and the important service MCARC provides.  Learn more and find upcoming meeting information at http://mcminnarc.com/

Mexican special event

The members of the the DXXE Group, through-out the 2020 year, will celebrate its 15th anniversary with the activation of the special callsign 4A15DXXE, from January 20th, until December 31st, 2020.

Activity will be on all bands and modes especially in contests, special events, via satellite and EME from different Grid Locators in Mexico.
QSL via LoTW only.

ADDED NOTES: Over the coming months, look for other special events stations to celebrate this anniversary from Cuba, Spain, the Canary Islands, France and South America:

- Raúl/CO8ZZ and the DX Group of Cuba will operate as T40DXXE between
January 20-31st. See "T40, CUBA (Special Event)" click here.

- From Spain, Salva/EA5BB will be on the air between April 1-15th, as
AO15DXXE and on the same days, from the Canary Islands (AF-004),
Juan/EA8RM will sign AO15DXXE/8.

- From France, Thierry/F4GVO will operate as TM15DXXE, between April
1-15th, and will be on SSB, FT4, FT8, from 80-6 meters.

hen the operators have free time as it allows.

Whoever manages to contact the station on at least three bands, regardless of mode, will receive a special certificate in digital format.
The DXXE Group encourages radio activity during inter-national competitions, expeditions, island activations, as well as experimentation with new technologies applied to radio communications. On the other hand, it grants the "DXXE Diploma" to those who demonstrate having contacted at least three members of the group.

The DXXE brings together renowned Mexican operators and others from the countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. There will be other celebrations for this anniversary as well as other special event stations from South America, Mexico, Spain, Canary Islands and France being added throughout the year. For more details and QSL route, see QRZ.com.

WEEKEND EDITION: Snow tonight, cold today....Big News for New England; Boxboro Hamfest moving to a new Marlboro Hotel location and a new date in July in the future, just a rumor I heard from a  pretty solid source.....3843 jammed by the Mexican Bandito's last night, where the hell did they come from? And for the love of God and country, speak English!...70th anniversary of the Brink's Robbery yesterday, they would have made it but one ratted out the others, most of the money never was found.....

Bob Heil’s unlikely “rock star” story is legendary.

Heil is mild-mannered, friendly and encouraging. He’s never smoked or drank, so he isn’t anything like the stereotypical rocker. He is, however, considered by many to be the father of modern rock-concert sound. He was the first to build very, very loud speakers that pumped out the volume for everyone from the Grateful Dead to The Who and many other legendary bands. His creations were so important over time that Heil has a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I first met the celebrated sound equipment manufacturer when we both trod the hallways of KMOX radio in the early ’90s. He was known to listeners as “High Tech Heil” and talked about the latest innovations in audio and video. The first time I heard the phrase high-definition television was from Heil. I knew he had notable credentials, but I mostly thought he was more of a techno geek. It wasn’t until years later that I found out he’d been hanging out with rock ’n’ roll royalty for decades and played a significant role in the music’s history.  STORY

Foundations of Amateur Radio

The lessons we teach

When you become a member of the amateur radio community you become part of a small group of humans who know and understand certain aspects of life. That's not to say that others don't share this or that the knowledge is unique or special, but radio amateurs are required to know this before they receive their license.

In the past I've spoken about how getting a license is like receiving a key that opens the door to the world of radio communications. It's one of the more accessible ways to grab hold of this key and it's the recipe for life long learning.

During the week a friend of mine, a newly minted amateur, pointed out that this represents something that the general population isn't aware of or attaches little in the way of value to. The interconnectedness of radio spectrum is something that radio amateurs take for granted. To us it's obvious. A transmitter on 3585 kHz is fundamentally the same as one on 92.1 MHz. A key fob on 434 MHz is similar to a computer on 2.45 GHz as is a laser on 500 THz or an X-ray machine on 30 PHz.

As a radio amateur we're taught that the radio spectrum is a continuous phenomenon and that spectrum is shared among users with specific rules around interference and interaction.

Another thing we know as radio amateurs is the difference between the front and the back of a Yagi-antenna. We know about radiation patterns, about the ionosphere and how the sun and sun-spots interact with some of our activities.

The point is that our knowledge, it's fair to say, specialised knowledge, even at the lowest level of licensing, exceeds that of the general public.

This is all by way of background because this leads to something that I learnt during the week.

As amateurs we have a responsibility to be custodians of that knowledge, that is, to care for it and to ensure its accuracy and to preserve that knowledge.

For some amateurs that means that they want this information to be exclusive, but for me it means that this information should be shared and nurtured and encouraged in those people who make choices based on incorrect information.

For example, as a radio amateur it's my duty to inform a person who is contemplating breaking the radio spectrum licensing rules that they are doing so. Not because I'm a regulator, but because I have specialised information that they lack. Importing a radio module that's using a frequency that's not available in your country is an example of something that I am compelled to point out.

I know that some amateurs take this compulsion to the next level and become a de-facto police officer attempting to enforce those restrictions. I understand where that comes from, but I also know that this is not my role and it's not your role. If you feel strongly enough about a transgression, perceived or real, there are plenty of ways to deal with that. Reporting the offence to the regulator is one option for example.

Knowing which end is the front of a TV antenna means that you can point out a mistake to a home-owner about the direction their antenna is pointing at, but it doesn't mean that you need to climb on their roof to turn it around.

I've said many times before that having an amateur license is a privilege. It's a gift, even if you worked hard for it, it was given to you, bestowed on you by the regulator in your country.

It seems to me that having such a gift means that it should be treated as such. As radio amateurs we're not entitled to a license, nor are we entitled to transmit. We're granted permission to do so.

I think that it's important to keep that in the back of our minds when we set out to educate those around us.

As for the education itself. It pays to consider what you take for granted when you're giving advice. Telling a person about Wi-Fi propagation through a home is a complex topic. You can make the explanation as hard or as simple as you want, but don't expect that the person receiving the advice has the same background information or interest that you have.

I was once told by a statistician about how various statistics worked and what their background was. I was translating a program from Modula-2 into WingZ hyper-script. I didn't care about how it worked, just that the provided code did what it was supposed to and that what I wrote did the same thing. I had no interest in becoming a professor in statistics, despite the earnest instruction enforced on me by my employer 30 years ago.

It's been said that you must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.

What and how we teach those around us can be the seed of something bigger. I may well have become a statistician if the information had been tailored to my requirements, but that chance was lost 30 years ago.

I think it's a great way to consider what we teach and how.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

New Book from ARRL: Amateur Radio Contesting for Beginners

01/17/2020

Contesting is one of the most exciting aspects of amateur radio — and for some, it’s their primary ham radio activity. Amateur Radio Contesting for Beginners by contesting veteran Doug Grant, K1DG, offers practical information and ideas that will help you to get started in contesting — “radiosport” — or to build your skills, if you’re already active.

Contesting tests station capability and operator skill, and it really is a sport, with a typical objective of contacting as many stations and multipliers — ARRL Sections, states, grids, or DXCC entities, for example — within the contest period.

“Doug Grant has written the ideal guide for anyone interested in contesting,” said QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY.

Grant’s book explains what equipment you need, typical contest formats, details of some more popular events, operating techniques, how to submit an entry, and how to improve your scores. No matter how modest your station or experience, you can compete, too!

A couple of events over the January 18 – 19 weekend to get you started include the ARRL January VHF Contest (CW, phone, and digital) and the North American QSO Party, SSB. See the ARRL Contest Calendar for information on other events.

Amateur Radio Contesting for Beginners is available from the ARRL Store or your ARRL Dealer. (ARRL Item no. 1243, ISBN: 978-1-62595-124-3, $27.95 retail, special ARRL Member Price $24.95). Call 860-594-0355 or, toll-free in the US, 888-277-5289. It’s also available as an e-book for the Amazon Kindle.

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2203

TRAGIC DROWNING HALTS ROTUMA DXPEDITION

NEIL/ANCHOR: We begin this week's report with news from the Rotuma DXpedition 3D2AG/p. All operations have gone QRT following a personal tragedy, the drowning of the 11-year-old son of Antoine 3D2AG, who had been on the air from Rotuma in the Republic of Fiji since the 21st of December. The child drowned on the 9th of January and his body was found in deep water. The entire Newsline staff extends heartfelt condolences to Antoine and his family.

HAMS STEP UP AFTER PHILIPPINE VOLCANO ERUPTS

NEIL/ANCHOR: In the Philippines, hams activated quickly following the eruption of a volcano near Manila. John Williams VK4JJW has that report.

JOHN: The eruption of the Taal volcano near the Manila metro area in the Philippines on January 12th spurred an activation of the Ham Radio Emergency Operations, or HERO, network of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association. According to a report from PARA's Thelma Pascua DU1IVT and JoJo Vicencio DU1VHY as conditions worsened with power blackouts hams became active on the 2 metre calling frequency and were joined by PARA club DX1ACE and others in their respective areas. Ashfall had begun to affect metropolitan Manila, even northern Quezon City. The southern cities were reported to be seriously impacted. DX1ACE began a relief effort to assist evacuees in the Batangas area evacuation centers. IARU Region 3 Disaster Committee Chairman Dani YB2TJV issued a notice that 40 metres was also being monitored. By January 13th, however, a change in wind direction had given metro Manila a relief from the ashfall.

AMATEURS HELP IN POST-QUAKE PUERTO RICO

NEIL/ANCHOR: Hams are on the scene in Puerto Rico, helping an island shaken by the latest tremors. Here's Christian Cudnik K0STH with the details.

CHRISTIAN: With thousands of people displaced following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake and a later 5.9 magnitude tremor, volunteers from the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, or ARES, are in Puerto Rico assisting the American Red Cross. Although commercial telecommunications remain largely intact and most of the island's power was back on, hams were handling health and welfare traffic on VHF and UHF and at Red Cross headquarters as of mid-week. The ARRL's Ham Aid Fund was also sending equipment. Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto KP4RF told the ARRL that radio operations were being used as a backup in case further quakes occur.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quakes are among more than 500 to strike the Caribbean territory since late December. The recent quakes are said to have caused $110 million worth of damage.

SILENT KEY: SULTAN QABOOS BIN SAID A41AA

NEIL/ANCHOR: From the Sultanate of Oman comes word of the death of its longtime leader - a notable ham radio operator. Jason Daniels VK2LAW tells us more.

JASON: An amateur radio operator who was also the longest tenured monarch in the Arab world has become a Silent Key. Sultan Qaboos bin Said A41AA was credited with transforming the sultanate into a modern developed state since becoming its ruler in 1970. The Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society A47RS notes on its webpage that it was created in 1972 under his patronage.

Various media outlets recalled him as a man of peace. A BBC report noted that although no cause of death was confirmed, the sultan had been in Belgium in December seeking medical treatment, presumably for cancer.

Sultan Qaboos, who died Friday, January 10th, was aged 79.

SILENT KEY: DXER PETER GLASMACHER DK5DC/AA6M

NEIL/ANCHOR: In Germany, hams are mourning the unexpected death of well-known DXer Peter Glasmacher DK5DC/AA6M. Peter, who was an ARRL member and a DXCC card checker, became a Silent Key on the 12th of January. A familiar face to many at Ham Radio Friedrichshafen (FREED-RICK-SHOFF-EN), Peter was also the author of a monthly DX column for the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club's magazine. He was also District chair for DARC in Westphalia-South. Peter Glasmacher was 68.

HAM LOSES BATTLE TO BUILD TOWER OUTSIDE MASSACHUSETTS HOME

NEIL/ANCHOR: In late December, Newsline reported on a Massachusetts neighborhood's battle with a local ham's work-in-progress: his 80-foot amateur radio tower. That battle is over. Kent Peterson KC0DGY brings us the followup story.

KENT: Mikhail Filippov KD1MF will not be building his ham radio tower after all. His Framingham, Massachusetts neighors have prevailed in their challenge to the city building permit he had been issued, saying it was done improperly. On Wednesday, January 8th, the city's Zoning Board of Appeals agreed saying that the project does not meet the necessary setback requirements. Neighbors have been fighting the 80-foot steel structure saying it would be an eyesore and damage property values.

Mikhail has already poured the foundation but halted construction after last month's meeting ended with no further action.

His attorney Fred Hopengarten told local reporters he was waiting for the zoning officials' written opinion before deciding whether - and how - to proceed. Mikhail has the option to reapply for a building permit. Zoning officials have said if he chooses this route, the building commissioner should review a state law that would require the project to undergo a site plan review. Mikhail also has the option of appealing the zoning board's decision in court instead.

ROOSTING VULTURES CAUSE TROUBLE FOR TEXAS TOWER

NEIL/ANCHOR: Another tower - this one in Texas - is having issues with....hygiene. Mike Askins KE5CXP explains.

MIKE: So you think you have troubles maintaining your tower? Consider this: In Kingsville, Texas on the U.S.-Mexico border about 300 turkey vultures have established a resting place on a radio tower owned and operated by the United States Customs and Border Protection agency.

The birds of prey aren't nesting there, or even laying eggs -- but federal officials are calling for the problem to be eliminated because of what the birds themselves have eliminated. Use your imagination. Whatever it may be, when it leaves the bird it drops 300 feet to whatever may be beneath.

According to various news reports, the vultures have made this a habit for more than six years but the government has finally declared that what comes out of these vultures has created too much of the wrong kind of pileup. Workers climbing the tower come into contact with the various corrosive substances which are also landing on supports, rails and catwalks, according to a Department of Homeland Security memo.

The birds are under the protection of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act and no one has indicated a desire to harm them but officials are seeking a solution. Customs officials are considering some net control - not the kind that handles check-ins - but the kind that will prevent the birds themselves from any further check-ins. By summer, the agency hopes to get netting draped over the tower to prevent future RF - Roosting Flock - interference.

HAMS KEEP WATCHFUL EYE AT INDIA'S GANGA SAGAR MELA

NEIL/ANCHOR: A major gathering of worshippers in India once again has amateur radio operators looking out for everyone. Jim Meachen ZL2BHF has that report.

JIM: In West Bengal, India, the annual Hindu pilgrimage known as the Ganga Sagar Mela is a time for prayer and spiritual renewal. This year as in previous years, as hundreds of thousands of worshippers converged at Ganga Sagar Island, they could again rely on amateur radio operators to help keep them safe in the massive crowd where devotees have been known to wander off and lose their way back to friends and family.

Using the special call sign 8T2G, the West Bengal Radio Club VU2WB was operating on site with support from the National Institute of Amateur Radio VU2NRO and the Indian Institute of Hams VU2IIH. Activities at the cultural and spiritual festival include a dip in the water where the river Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

NEIL/ANCHOR: According to a news report on Tuesday January 14th, the West Bengal hams successfully tracked down a teenager who was in the process of being kidnapped by three youths. The girl, who was released when the trio ran off, had been reported missing earlier by her grandparents.

WALMART GRANT ASSISTS NEW MEXICO HAM CLUB PROJECT

NEIL/ANCHOR: In New Mexico, a grant is helping one ham club realize its goal of linked repeaters. Stephen Kinford N8WB has those details.

STEPHEN: The Valencia County Amateur Radio Association KC5OUR will soon be able to link its three repeaters in New Mexico to one another with the help of a $1,900 grant from Walmart. A check has been presented to the club from the company, which gives such gifts annually to assist community service projects undertaken by nonprofit organizations. Linked repeaters will prove especially useful for the county's first responders during emergencies and for major public events. According to the Walmart website, cash grants awarded each year range from $250 to $5,000. The ham radio club's grant was among the more than $42 million in local grants awarded in the 2019 fiscal year.

YOTA STATIONS IN THE AMERICAS COUNT NEARLY 12,500 QSOs

NEIL/ANCHOR: December YOTA Month is always a hit with young operators around the world but this past December gave hams in the Americas something more to celebrate: Young operators in the Americas logged nearly 12,500 QSOs during the global event, according to a report from organizers including coordinator Bryant Rascoll KG5HVO. There were 18 operators in North and South America using SSB, CW, digital modes and satellites. Globally there were 48 special callsigns active, logging nearly 129,000 contacts. Newsline takes particular pride in Bryant, who was our Young Ham of the Year for 2018.
The youth activations in the Americas are a prelude to an unprecented experience this summer: the first youth-oriented radio camp taking place in the Western Hemisphere – in Ohio – this coming June. 

AURORA BOREALIS A BRIGHT SPOT FOR EYEBALL QSOS

NEIL/ANCHOR: Hams disheartened by the sunspot shortage might want to think of the aurora borealis as a bright spot - for reasons that may surprise you. Jim Damron N8TMW explains.

JIM: So you're hoping for a QSO with a ham in Alaska? Depending upon where you live, you might require a K index of 3 or lower, a sign that solar storms won't mess up propagation. Of course, if what you're hoping for is an eyeball QSO with someone there, you might have wanted to consider a K index of 8 or even 9, the maximum. It not only brings an aurora borealis in all its glory, it saved travelers money with one airline if they booked a trip to Fairbanks or Anchorage, timing the visit with the highest predicted indexes. The very highest ones provided discounts of as much as 35 percent on tickets bought through January 17th for travel until February 12th. The marketing gimmick by Alaska Airlines celebrates the solar storms, something we hams tend to curse if we're on HF. The campaign's slogan? "The more intense the lights, the more you save on flights." Most of us, however, are waiting for an alternate slogan: "Forget that big vacation, we're needing propagation."

RADIO SOCIETY PRESENTS FIRST MEMORIAL TROPHY

NEIL/ANCHOR: One of the younger members of a radio society in Britain has become the first recipient of a trophy created to honor a Silent Key. Jeremy Boot G4NJH has that story.

JEREMY: There is nothing else quite like the Bury Radio Society's memorial trophy which was crafted from a rare vintage French-made transmitting tube, a Phillips QB4-1100 valve, mounted on a hardwood base made out of a church pew. The trophy is a tribute to a ham considered by the radio society to have been like no other: Peter Smith G2DPL, the group's longtime treasurer who died last year of cancer.

Society members told the Bury Times newspaper that over the years, Peter Smith, who worked as a network engineer, had spoken often at meetings on the subject of power transmission - and that many of his stories contained amusing outcomes of what could - and did - go wrong. He had been a radio amateur since 1968.

The trophy was presented at the December meeting to Sean Redmond M7DOS by society chairman Peter Butterworth G0GPH (G-ZERO-GPH), recognising Sean's commitment to promoting the club and serving as an example to other young amateurs. Sean is the G2DPL trophy's first recipient.

WORLD OF DX

In the world of DX, there's still time to work special event station TM70TAAF which was activated by François F8DVD on the 12th of January and will be on the air until the 26th. The activation commemorates the 70th anniversary of the first ham radio contacts made with the French Southern and Antarctic Lands while scientific research stations were being built there. QSL by the bureau or direct. All QSOs will be uploaded to LoTW.

Norbert DJ9RB is on the air from southern India until the 24th of January, operating as VU2RBQ. Listen for him on 80, 40, 30 and 20 meters using CW. QSL via his home call.

KICKER: HAM IS AT HOME BEING 'CITIZEN OF THE YEAR'

NEIL/ANCHOR: Our final story celebrates the public service spirit that thrives in all amateur radio operators - especially this one in California. Here's Dave Parks WB8ODF with his story.

DAVE: Ask Carl Gehricke N6RNC whether it's an honor being named Citizen of the Year for 2020 and he'll say yes. No surprise there. The retired California Correctional Institution sergeant has been busy giving back to the community he's called home for 43 years. He volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol, with Tehachapi Search and Rescue, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army Amateur Radio Club and the Tehachapi Ham Radio Club. He also volunteers as an ambassador with the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce, which joined the Tehachapi News in conferring the honor recently.

According to the news reports, Carl was also singled out because of his volunteer work with the local Mountain Festival, where he's donated his efforts since 1980. He's also a regular at the Fall Business Showcase and the Christmas parade.

Ask Carl about any other honor and he won't hesitate to add one more: ham radio operator. It's no secret that this longtime hobby of his became his gateway to a life of altruism.

He told the newspaper: [quote] "Because of ham radio, I've helped out quite a bit. I set it up for fires, and for the Salvation Army and Red Cross. I have it available, so I use it." [endquote]

Four decades after finding a home in this California community, this citizen of the year is at home helping preserve it. He told the newspaper: "This is our home, and it's time to take care of your home."

FRIDAY EDITION: 18° AND GUSTING 50MPH...AGAIN, seventh windstorm in 7 weeks! Wind-chill factor around 5°.....snow on the way tomorrow. .....Famous radio operators....Lookup hams by zipcode....History of old car audio....

6 Famous Hams:

Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor and the person who first adapted radio waves into a functioning communication system. After the initial idea of interconnected telegraphic systems, many people began experimenting with possibility of making it wireless.

At the break between 1800’s and 1900’s wireless was completely unregulated, as nobody really knew how it worked with all the transmitters and receivers, resulting in many people experimenting with their transmitters and receivers.

It’s hard to tell who was the world’s first radio amateur. Rumors are that it could have been M.J.C. Dennis from London, UK. Influenced by Marconi’s experiments, Dennis reportedly built first non-professional wireless station in the world in 1898.

The interest has grown more and more ever since. Nowadays the field is regulated with licensing and the hobby has become well-established. Red Pitaya recognized the interest and built Hamlab, which includes everything any ham radio operator needs for its daily operations. From country leaders to the leaders of the world’s largest companies, amateur radio unites people of different backgrounds and professions.

1. Yuri Gagarin (UA1LO)

Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space in 1961. This historic flight brought him immediate worldwide recognition. However, only few people know that Russian cosmonaut was also a ham radio operator. Most of the members of today’s astronaut corps are licensed amateur radio operators.

2. Les Hamilton (GM3ITN)

Les Hamilton was a Scottish ham radio operator who first alerted the British government that the Falkland Islands had been invaded by Argentina. During the occupation he was the only person in Britain to be in regular radio contact with the islanders.

3. John Sculley (K2HEP)

John Sculley, the former president of PepsiCo (1977–1983), became the CEO of Apple Inc. in 1983 and he is also a licensed radio amateur. The marketing genius remained on the position for ten years and even saw the great Steve Jobs resign from his position after the fight between the two of them.

4. Qaboos bin Said al Said (A41AA)

Qaboos bin Said al Said is the Sultan of Oman. And not just that. The country’s leader is a radio amateur as well! Qaboos bin Said al Said became the Sultan of the country of Oman in 1970 and has remained on the position to this day.

5. Juan Carlos (EA0JC)

From one country leader to another. Well almost. Juan Carlos resigned as the King of Spain from 1975 to 2014. His amateur radio callsign is EA0JC.

6. Marlon Brando (FO5GJ)

Last Tango in Paris, The Godfather, Julius Caesar… Who hasn’t heard of these cult movies? They all have one thing in common. It’s Marlon Brando, one of the best actors in history. And there’s more. Marlon Brando was a licensed radio amateur, with the callsign FO5GJ.

    

High Speed Telegraphy Competitions Set

The 17th International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) High Speed Telegraphy (HST) World Championship will take place August 20 – 24 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Europe’s HST Cup and Balkan HST Championships will take place May 8 – 12 in Elbasan, Albania. Although not an IARU-recognized event, this international competition is widely accepted by the HST community as an opportunity for top competitors to check their form before the world championship, for teams to test new candidates for a national team, and for those unable to participate at the World Championship to still enjoy top-level competition. — Thanks to IARU Region 1 

Have you ever thought about communicating with people in different countries, around the world, "off the grid?" Or, communicating with the astronauts on the International Space Station via a small handheld radio? How about becoming a weather spotter to help your community prepare for weather events? If you answered yes to any of these, then Amateur Radio may be for you!

The Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society is sponsoring TechFest 2020 on January 18th, 2020. TechFest is a nationally recognized event that presents a show-and-tell of the various aspects of Amateur "Ham" Radio. TechFest 2020 will be held at the Gwinnett Medical Center's Resource Center, 665 Duluth Highway (GA120), Lawrenceville, GA 30046. The doors will open at 9:00am with events concluding at 2:00pm.

Raffle prizes include an ICOM IC-7300 HF Radio and a Yaesu FTM-400XDR/XE VHF/UHF Radio.

Door prizes include a Kenwood TS-590SG HF Radio, a Yaesu FT-4x Dual Mode HT Radio.

Planned exhibits include:

• Getting Started with Raspberry Pi for Ham Radio

• Digital Mode Hotspots

• VHF/UHF “Dxing” Fun

• How to Solder

• Lightning Protection and Grounding

and more.......

Other attractions include: American Radio Relay League (ARRL) exhibit, Local emergency communications (EmComm), and forums on radio related topics.

TechFest 2020 is open to the general public, and is a free event.

Would you like to become an amateur radio operator? Do you know someone you would like to introduce to the hobby? TechFest 2020 will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about "Ham" Radio."
 

ITU highlights role of amateur radio in emergency comms

Amateur radio features in the ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plans, published by the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D)

The ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plan's pages 80-81 note:  

Radio amateurs have supported communications in emergency situations on a voluntary basis since the beginning of radio communications. They are experts in radio communications and have the equipment, skills and necessary frequencies allocated by ITU (2017d) to deploy networks in emergency events quickly and efficiently.

The support provided by radio amateurs in cases of emergency has the following advantages:
• There is great coverage, due to the large number of amateur radio stations available and operating in all regions and in almost every country in the world.
• The coverage of amateur radio stations becomes a network independent of others.
• There are training programmes and simulation exercises for emergencies developed by national radio amateurs for situations of telecommunications in emergencies.
• They are qualified temporary volunteers who provide skills and experience essential for emergency telecommunications, with the sole purpose of supporting humanitarian aid services.
• They have skill in solving problems related to the use of telecommunications during emergencies with often very limited resources.
• Many amateur radio stations trained to handle emergency telecommunications have alternative power sources, such as battery power, solar power or generator power and can operate during power disruptions.

Read the PDF document ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plans at
https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Emergency-Telecommunications/Pages/Publications/Guidelines-for-NETPs.aspx

USKA preparing response to Article 37a on ham radio antennas

Switzerland's national amateur radio society USKA is preparing its response to OFCOM's consultation regarding the new Article 37a on ham radio antennas in the FMG Telecommunications Act

The revised FMG Telecommunications Act, which was passed by the Swiss Parliament on March 22, 2019, now contains Article 37a "Amateur Radio". It regulates two main area:

• Paragraph 1 lays the foundation for the cantons and municipalities to be able to introduce simplified authorization procedures for simple antennas such as wire and rod antennas and light masts similar to flagpoles.
The word "can" can be interpreted as an invitation. It is now up to us to persuade politicians in the cantons to take appropriate measures.

• Paragraph 2 unequivocally states that the maintenance of an amateur radio antenna and the replacement by an equivalent antenna do not require a license.

On January 14, 2020 the USKA put out a call for Swiss amateurs with political connections to get in touch with them. A translation of their post reads:

The “Task Force Legal Framework for Amateur Radio” meets sporadically as needed. The next meeting will take place at the end of February or the beginning of March, as we have to submit our response to OFCOM's consultation on the new FMG by March 25th [2020].

We would also like to take this opportunity to discuss how to implement FMG Art. 37a in the cantons and communes. It's about how we can get them to adapt their future legislation on amateur radio antennas due to the new Art. 37a in the FMG.

We ask all politically committed radio amateurs who can influence the Canton or Municipality level to contact me for this conference.

I will send the details of the conference to those concerned by email.

Vy 73 de Bernard Wehrli, HB9ALH
Board member responsible for antennas and OFCOM
hb9alh<at>uska.ch

Source USKA https://tinyurl.com/SwitzerlandUSKA

THURSDAY EDITION: Ranger Rick- K1BQT still has a like new AL1300 for sale in NH, good deal, check NH Craigslist....

New ham radio magazine 'On the Air'

The ARRL has launched the bi-monthly amateur radio magazine On the Air and has made the premier issue freely available to read on the internet

The magazine's Editorial Director Becky Schoenfield W1BXY says "Every other month, On the Air will bring you project builds, operating techniques and know-how, definitions to make you fluent in hamspeak, stories from the community, wisdom from experienced hams, and much more."

The first issue of On the Air January/February 2020, includes:
• A guide to buying your first handheld radio
• Step-by-step instructions for building simple antennas for VHF and HF
• A full-page infographic that explains how the ionosphere makes long-distance radio communication possible
• An “Up Close” Q & A with Jeremy Hong, KD8TUO, who reveals his favorite resources for new hams.
• …and much more!

Read On the Air at
Short URL https://tinyurl.com/On-the-Air

YOTA Month Reported a Success in the Americas

For several years now, Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) has sponsored YOTA Month each December, primarily involving young radio amateurs in Europe and Africa. In December, youth-operated amateur radio stations in the Americas picked up the ball to contribute more than 12,000 contacts to the worldwide event. Eighteen operators aged 25 or younger deployed special event 1 × 1 call signs — K8Y, K8O, K8T, and K8A — to promote youth in amateur radio. Fifteen young operators across the US took turns using these call signs throughout December. They logged 10,474 contacts using those call signs on SSB, CW, digital modes, and satellites. Some operators also aired the call signs during contests. Participants in the Americas offered opinions on what made the event special for them.

“Operating-wise, it was definitely the pileups…I love a good pileup,” said Mason Matrazzo, KM4SII. “Apart from that, it was great getting to be part of a group of youngsters that are all into the hobby. Even though we weren’t physically working together, we all got to be part of the YOTA program over the air.”

Audrey McElroy, KM4BUN, also cited the on-air camaraderie. “My favorite part of YOTA month was getting the wonderful experience of talking to other youth all over the world and sharing our experiences,” she said. “It gives us hope to know the future of Amateur Radio is in the hands of these great kids.” Her brother Jack, KM4ZIA, also took part.

In Canada, David Samu, VE7DZO, signed VE7YOTA in December, making 458 contacts on CW. “My favorite part was seeing all the YOTA stations on the air throughout December and seeing all the high energy youth activity,” he said.

Mathias Acevedo, CE2LR, activated XR2YOTA, and met another young operator from Chile, Manu Pardo, CA3MPR, through YOTA month. Between them, they put 1,535 contacts into the log on CW, SSB, and digital modes.

Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO, coordinated the efforts of the 17 participants and the logs for the US stations. “I learned much during the month about the importance of teamwork and communication...just like baseball,” Bryant said about his role as coordinator. “I think YOTA month was a great success considering the short amount of time we had to plan this all out. I had a lot of fun operating this event, but it was even more rewarding to see other youth here in the Americas make tons of QSOs during December.” Bryant managed Logbook of The World accounts for the US stations and QRZ.com pages for all call signs, maintained an operator schedule, worked with YOTA Month Award Manager Tomi Varro, HA8RT, and reported in to the YOTA Camp Committee in the Americas.

Globally, nearly 129,000 contacts were logged using 48 call signs, all operated by hams under the age of 25 or younger. More than 2,500 operators of all ages requested and received awards based on the number of YOTA contacts they had made. Statistics are available.

The first Youth On The Air camp in the US will take place next June 21 – 26 at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township, Ohio.

Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Effort Continues, with Help from Ham Radio

In Puerto Rico, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers continue to operate from the American Red Cross distribution center in Yauco — one of the towns hit the hardest by the recent earthquakes and ongoing aftershocks on the island. The Red Cross requested assistance last week to identify undeclared refugee camps and to report on close or damaged roadways and bridges. ARES District 5 Emergency Coordinator Herb Perez, WP4ZZ, who is among those volunteering for the Red Cross at Yauco, reported on January 14 that he, Melvin Velazquez, WP4RAP, and Yolanda Garcia, WP4QZF, are on duty there.

“Today, we were able to occupy our space with no major incident other than the usual shaking of the entire structure. More than 10 per hour,” Perez said. “One of our members Jared Martinez, KP4LCO, was able to search near his hometown of Lajas and was able to locate more than 10 unidentified campsites around the area.” Perez said such reports enable the Red Cross to provide necessary assistance to those left homeless as a result of the earthquakes.

Perez said volunteers were able to collect food for isolated communities in the mountain region from a church-run food pantry in Sabana Grande. He said local members of the GMRS and Citizens Band radio communities have been pitching in.

Operations from Yauco have been on VHF and UHF, although commercial telecommunication services remain in operation for the most part. Another station has been established at the Red Cross Headquarters in the capital of San Juan, which is not in the earthquake zone. Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, said the stations are operating as a backbone, in the event of new or stronger earthquakes. HF equipment has been safely stowed if communications fail, Resto said. Most of Puerto Rico now has power and water.

ARRL is shipping six VHF/UHF base/repeater antennas and six 50-foot rolls of LMR-400 coax, through the Ham Aid Fund. Resto said a new Red Cross warehouse will be place in Mayagüez, where he will install a third station for backbone communication. “That is the reason for the new antennas,” he said. “We already have the radios. In case we need to escalate to HF, we are ready with ARRL go-kits from Hurricane Maria.”

The ARES team in Yauco has also been handling health-and-welfare traffic from the earthquake zone. Operations are running from 9 AM until 5 PM each day.

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the southwestern part of Puerto Rico on January 7, fast on the heels of a magnitude 5.8 tremor the day before. The worst-impacted cities were Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Yauco, and Guánica, where most homes are no longer habitable. 

AM Rally 2020 Gets Under Way on February 1

The fourth annual AM Rally operating event will take place February 1 – 3 (UTC). The annual AM Rally encourages all operators to explore amateur radio's original voice mode by showcasing the various types of AM equipment in use today, ranging from early vacuum-tube rigs to the newest SDR-based transceivers.

“Both new and experienced ops are discovering that AM can sound quite good, enhancing the enjoyment of contacts,” said Clark Burgard, N1BCG, an enthusiastic promoter of the event. “The AM Rally provides a great reason to give it a try.”

The AM Rally is open to all radio amateurs capable of running full-carrier, amplitude modulation (standard AM) using any type of radio equipment — modern, vintage, tube, solid-state, software-defined, military, boat anchor, broadcast, homebrew, or commercially manufactured — are encouraged to join in the AM fun on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6 meters.

Details are on the AM Rally website or contact Burgard via email. The AM Rally is sponsored by ARRL, Radio Engineering Associates, and iNetRadio.

 

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Winter Field Day is coming up on January 25/26 and we will be active at the local radio club...Some ask "what is going on with the "Friendly Bunch?" on 3919? I say, who cares!....I did listen for 5 minutes last night to old #1 butt in every 30 seconds (why the hell do they need net controls?) and the sacred one announced he had a video of the  "Friendly Bunch do Stone Mountain event"...boy I bet that is a knee slapping event...that is when I turned the dial and listened down on 3843 for a while....Only in Florida...Another reason not to eat a fast food joints....Red Sox fire manager Cora, good riddance...Delta dumps fuel over a playground before landing, there must be a logical answer?

ARRL On the Air Podcast Premieres on January 16

ARRL’s new On the Air podcast for those just getting started on their amateur radio journey, will debut this Thursday, January 16, with a new podcast posted each month. The podcast is a companion to the new bimonthly On the Air magazine, which is already on its way to member subscribers. On the Air magazine editor Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, will be the host of the new podcast. Both the podcast and the magazine are aimed at offering new and beginner-to-intermediate-level radio amateurs a fresh approach to exploring radio communication.

Listeners can find the On the Air podcast at Blubrry, Apple iTunes (or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (search for On the Air), and Stitcher (or through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices). Episodes will be archived on the ARRL website.

Each On the Air podcast will take a deeper dive into the articles and issues raised in the magazine, including advice and insight on topics covering the range of amateur radio interests and activities: radio technology, operating, equipment, project building, and emergency communication.

Supplementing On the Air will be a new Facebook page for those who share a love of radio communication and are looking to learn and explore more about their interests.

The biweekly Eclectic Tech podcast for experienced radio amateurs will launch on February 13. Hosted by QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, Eclectic Tech will highlight topics involving amateur and non-amateur technology, offer brief interviews with individuals involved in projects of interest to amateurs, and include practical information of immediate benefit to today’s hams. Eclectic Tech will be available via iTunes and Stitcher.

The ARRL Mags apps including QST and On the Air are now live on Apple iTunes and Google Play. The digital edition of On the Air magazine is now live and linked from the On the Air page on the ARRL website.   

Germany Special Event Recognizes Anniversary of SDR Development

The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) this year is honoring 35 years of software-defined radio (SDR) technology with special call sign and special DOK.

“In order to acknowledge the high importance of digital signal processing for communications technology in general, and amateur radio in particular, a special event station DL35SDR will be active from the greater Munich area throughout 2020,” the DARC announcement said. A special DOK of 35SDR was issued for this station.

DARC said digital signal processing via SDR has become the generally accepted standard for decoding and generating of radio signals. Commercial services have been using this technology for a long time and modern amateur radio is unimaginable without it.

Award-winning researcher Ulrich L. Rohde, N1UL/DJ2LR, was the first to describe the possibilities and perspectives of SDR in a lecture during the Third International Conference on HF Communication Systems and Technique in 1985. Rohde is recognized as one of the pioneers of SDR technology. — Thanks to OPDX

LUSAT 30th anniversary

Members of AMSAT Argentina (LU7AA) celebrate the 30th anniversary of the LUSAT (LO-19) satellite between Jan. 18 and 26 on HF on SSB, FT8, CW. An award is available as well.

QSL via LU7AA (d), eQSL.

See:
http://lu4aao.org/lu7aa/cert_30_aniv_lusat_2020.htm
http://amsat.org.ar/certlusat30.htm

Point Amour contest operation

Chris VE3FU, Dave VE9CB, and Frank VO1HP will be active as VO2AC,
VO2AAA, and VO1HP/VO2 from the lighthouse Point Amour/Labrador in Canada (CQ zone 2).

QRV from the 20th to 26th, including the CQ WW 160m Contest (as VO2AC).

QSL for VO2AC via VE3FU (d/B), VO2AAA via VE9CB, VO1HP/VO2 via VO1HP; all logs will be put onto LoTW.

Virgin Orbit plans flight test of LauncherOne rocket in February

Virgin Orbit, AMSAT's launch for RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E, has announced they expect to have their first test launch of LauncherOne, their airborne-launched rocket, sometime in the second half of February.
The LauncherOne rocket is carried on the VO 747 Cosmic Girl aircraft.

If this first test flight is successful RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E is planned for launch on the second flight of LauncherOne during 1Q 2020 on the ELaNa XX mission.

RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E

Uplink: 145.860 MHz - 145.890 MHz LSB/CW
Downlink: 435.790 MHz - 435.760 MHz USB/CW (inverting)
Telemetry: 435.750 MHz 1K2 bps BPSK

TUESDAY EDITION: Grey, cloudy, and nippy start to the day...

The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

Puerto Rico Volunteers Deployed to Red Cross, ARRL Sending Equipment

Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, reports that several Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers have been deployed to earthquake-ravaged regions of the island at the request of the American Red Cross. Initial operations got under way in the town of Yauco, where the Red Cross has a central warehouse for the earthquake relief effort. Operations are on VHF and UHF, although commercial telecommunication services remain in operation for the most part. A station has also been activated at the Red Cross Headquarters in the capital of San Juan, which is not in the earthquake zone. Aftershocks continue on the island. A magnitude 5.9 tremor struck over the weekend.

“The stations are operating as a backbone, in case a new or stronger earthquake hits the region,” Resto explained. “HF equipment is stored in Pelican Cases for protection from a larger catastrophic event, if communications fail.” Power has been re-established over more than 90% of Puerto Rico, and water service is operational in most places, Resto added.

ARRL is shipping six VHF/UHF base/repeater antennas and six 50-foot rolls of LMR-400 coax, through the Ham Aid Fund.

Since January 12, the ARES Zone 5 amateur radio volunteers have been handling health-and-welfare traffic from the earthquake zone, reports Yauco ARES District Emergency Coordinator Heriberto Perez, WP4ZZ, who said internet service has been slow. He said the Red Cross has been providing food and drinks for the volunteers. Operations are running from 9 AM until 5 PM each day.

“Today was a bit of a rough day,” Perez said on Saturday. “Many quakes during the day. It feels like you’re in a simulator.” He said the three-person team is using UHF for direct contact with San Juan, with a backup support frequency on VHF, and communication has been solid.

“During the course of the day, we began to handle health-and-welfare traffic from nearby victims,” he said. “We are now reaching out to affected communities asking for tents for the community [as well as] diapers or medicine, and many other requests. We also initiated food collection in our community.”

Perez said an HF radio was to be on site for backup on 20 and 40 meters. Power to the distribution center is 40% from the power utility and 60% from generators.

Resto said over the weekend that he’d been told that the Red Cross was relocating the disaster relief operation to Mayagüez, which is a much closer site to the initial impact area, and ARES will provide communication support at the new site.

“A personal comment,” Resto added. “[It] is very difficult to sleep with so many earthquakes — more than 3,000 from December 28 — shaking your house. I hope that my house survives these intense seismic events.”

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the southwestern part of Puerto Rico on January 7, fast on the heels of a magnitude 5.8 tremor the day before. The worst-impacted cities were Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Yauco, and Guánica, where, Resto said, engineers have determined that 80% of the houses in the earthquake’s impact zone are uninhabitable.

Resto told ARRL last week that the earthquake disaster has definitely been a setback for the US territory as it continues its long recovery from severe hurricane damage in 2017.

Selecting the right type of antenna

There are very many different types of antenna to choose from: dipoles inverted Vs, single band, multiband, doublets, verticals beams trapped dipoles, and many more. On top of this many can be home made or factory made. The choice is huge

In view of the great variety of antennas, it can be difficult to know which one will be best for any given location.

While it can be very interesting to experiment, it pays to know which antennas are likely be the best for for any given station. The different characteristics can mean that some types are more suitable than others.

Read more about the more popular types of antenna used with ham radio stations: their characteristics as well as the various advantages and disadvantages:
https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/ham_radio/amateur-equipment/buying-choosing-best-antenna-type.php

MONDAY EDITION: What a weekend of warm weather, 70° in January! No radio activity here, it was too nice to be in the house playing radio, we took a day trip up to Kittery, Maine and enjoyed the yl shopping...No towers in Framingham, about an hour from me...100 great innovations of 2019....

DL35, Germany special event

The DARC honors 35 years of SDR-technology with special callsign and special-DOK. In order to acknowledge the high importance of digital signal processing for communications technology in general and amateur radio in particular, a special event station 'DL35SDR' will be active from the greater Munich area throughout the year 2020. The Special-DOK "35SDR" was issued for this station.

Today, digital signal processing via Software Defined Radio (SDR) is the generally accepted standard for decoding and generating of radio signals.
Commercial services have been using this technology for a long time and nowadays amateur radio is not imaginable without SDR.

Prof. Dr.- Ing. habil. Ulrich L. Rohde, DJ2LR / N1UL, was the first describing the possibilities and perspectives of SDR in a congress lecture at the "Third International Conference on HF Communication Systems and Techniques" in London in February 1985 (classified). The title was: "A Sampling of Techniques".

DJ2LR / N1UL, member of DARC Amateur Radio Club Munich South (C18) is recognized as one of the pioneers of SDR technology 35 years ago.

 



New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
KB1OWO- Larry...
Handsome Fellow ,Only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat
connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....